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Flashback Friday! (Christmas-Themed, of course: DECK THE HALLS WITH TODDLER SIZED NUTCRACKERS)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin @ 7:24 PM
Friday, December 23, 2011

Every Friday, I will post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memories, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

I bet my mom’s Christmas decorations could beat up your mom’s Christmas decorations.

Every Christmas, my Jewish mother lines her staircases with toddler-size Nutcrackers. Soft Christmas music pipes in through the speakers, Snow white reindeer fight with pinecone candles and holly for position, and a tree the size of the Hulk stands tall, adorned with ornaments spanning four decades.

The ‘decoration’ aspect of Christmas at my mother’s house may be getting a little out of control. Each year there are more and more giant Nutcrackers, more holly, more stockings, more cranberries… and last year, two additional Christmas trees popped up, each decorated, one in front of the guest house and one at the end of the driveway.

Don’t forget, gentle readers, we’re Jewish.

But there are grandkids to impress, by golly! They must be dazzled by candy canes, wowed by exploding stockings that magically fill the night before Christmas, and passionate about leaving Santa the perfect amount of cookies and milk – and his reindeer carrots – so Santa and his crew will have enough stamina to hit the rest of the world’s children before sunup.

Never mind that my kids are… uh… very Jewish. As in, they speak Hebrew with their Israeli dad (my husband, who, by the way, I have trained to absolutely love Christmas, too – to the degree that now, every Christmas, he constantly berates me, telling me I’m too stingy with gifts and we need to get more, more, MORE for everyone!).

My kids go to a (Spiritual, Kabbalah, but still,) Jewish school. They listen to the Torah every Saturday, don’t touch electricity every Shabbat and holiday, eat Kosher, and generally are not accustomed to hearing anything about Christmas or Santa Claus outside of every single cartoon that is played in the months of November and December and… my family.

My son’s friends have ‘set him straight’ a number of times about Santa, but he’s not stupid. Last year, he reasoned to me, “Ima!” (Yep, we’re thatJewish; he calls me the Hebrew word for ‘Mom’) – “I’ve figured out why no one thinks that Santa is real!”

“Really?” I asked, curious where this was going. “Why?”

“Because he’s in Maryland!”

Maryland is where my mother lives.

Where, every Christmastime, the toddler Nutcrackers march up the stairs to take their post opposite the banner, the countless mini Nutcrackers cover any -gasp! – bare spot that doesn’t already boast a Christmas tchotchke, the three Christmas trees live, the sixteen or so stockings hang (2 for their 2 dogs, 1 for each child, spouse, grandchild, stepchild, etc, etc…), the Christmas cards are strung – on a string from the rafters, of course, the carols are sung and played over the sound system, and a snow machine pumps fake snow on top of glittery crystal snowflakes that hang from the ceiling…

Okay, that last part may not be entirely true.



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

You didn’t think I was lying, did you?

I have so many other good ones but I’ll just leave you with this:

White reindeer, cranberries, a stocking and a snowy owl. Couldn’t make this stuff up if I worked for Hallmark!

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